(Not) On My Own
*Warning: Full Transparency Ahead*
I would like to take a moment to acknowledge all of those who have been behind the scenes of making this transition a possibility. For two reasons. The first and most important, I am deeply grateful for their generosity, unwavering support, and faith in me. They deserve to be recognized. The second is my commitment to myself that in this endeavor I will be completely honest about my journey. I am fortunate to have grown up with a family who’s guest list at holiday gatherings consisted of a 20 person minimum. Extended family members filled the stands of my high school bleachers to cheer me on at volleyball games. Family in Georgia who graciously hosted me on random weekends and holidays during my years in Atlanta. I have never had to face anything 100% on my own and I no longer dismiss that as a privilege. As I have grown so has my realization of my family situation not being the case for a most. I cannot imagine the type of strength required to progress through life on your own. To our knowledge, we do not get to choose the environment into which we are born and I am aware of the advantages I have been afforded because of mine. To everyone involved with that creation please know that the love I have for you emanates deep from the bottom of my heart.
My sister, who is younger yet intelligent beyond her years (in addition to being stunningly beautiful inside and out), was truly the one to give me permission to make the move. Initially my plan was to relocate around April, when her lease was up and we could get a place together. However, she recognized my distress and offered to extended her apartment to me “rent optional” until then. Her, being my sister, knew that I would never ask for that kind of generosity because I didn’t think I was deserving of it (again, this relating back to my not-self identity of unworthiness topic for another day) so she took the initiative. Our language does not have a word expressing the amount of respect I have for her act of service on my behalf. She has allowed me to take an enormous amount of pressure off of myself to rush this process of creating a wellness brand out of nothing. I know that I will one day be able to repay her properly for all that she has given me, which is much more than just a place to stay for a few months.
My wonderful parents who I am beyond happy to be so near to once again my (my laundry is currently in their washer as I type this perched on their lake view dock). From education, to athletics, to teaching yoga, and everything in between they have been my biggest fans and will always continue to be. I am one lucky girl. My mom who makes me smile when she eagerly introduces me to others as a yoga teacher, even before I felt comfortable with that being my sole title identifier, has served been the type of woman I aspire to become way before I realized it. She is the catalyst for my journey of inner exploration and continuous self-improvement the that really began almost a decade ago but took me a few years to catch on. Then launching me to this point. My dad at a young age instilled the confidence to never settle. That it didn’t matter what I did as long as I enjoyed it and worked hard at it I could become the best. To clarify, “become the best” is not meant in a competitive way centered around beating others. It is about being better than I was the day before, about pushing the boundaries I set for my own greatness and realizing that I could achieve more than I thought I was capable of. His motto “finish strong” can probably be seen engraved in any and all of my cells if observed at a microscopic level. Upon arriving to the house he immediately jumped right into what my goals were and how he could help then emailed me a list of contacts at various business around the city. His excitement for my ambitions completely re-energized and reminded me that I am not in this alone.
Not in this alone. I think that is important to highlight. I have a wonderful support team who has been building me up since the beginning of my time on this planet and that will consume to do so as long as we are all here together. Recognizing that fact took me longer than I would like to admit. Once I did I had a sense of guilt, maybe stemming from my catholic upbringing, that I couldn’t take advantage of it. That because others weren’t offered the same opportunities- whether it being societal influences from different generations or less stable family environments- I “shouldn’t” get to rely on their help. That internal narrative took a lot of work to erase. Sure, others don’t have this opportunity but, if they did what would they do? They would use it! Instead of saying “I can’t do this because not everyone has a situation where they get to take a chance on creating a life of their own so I shouldn’t” and replaced it with “I can to do this because not everyone has a situation where they get to take a chance on creating a life of their own so I SHOULD do it”. Subtle linguistic differences, major physical changes.
All I can do is express my gratitude for the people who’s hard work and love has gotten me to where I am. My inspiration stems from my motivation to make them, and myself, proud. What I am doing is not just for me, it is for everyone who has believed in me along the way.
Cheers to you!